Flood fears prompt more evacuations in Ontario, while risk wanes in Prairies - Macleans.ca

Flood fears prompt more evacuations in Ontario, while risk wanes in Prairies


Flooding fears have triggered more evacuations from some communities on Ontario’s James Bay, while officials in the Prairie provinces say flood risks there appear to be easing.

Emergency Management Ontario says hundreds more residents were flown out of the Kashechewan First Nation in northern Ontario on Monday and given shelter in Cornwall, Thunder Bay and other communities.

It says roughly 900 people — nearly two thirds of the remote reserve’s population of 1,500 — have been evacuated as a precaution since the First Nation declared an emergency last week.

About 160 vulnerable residents in Moosonee have been taken to Sudbury, while officials continue to monitor water levels in the troubled First Nation of Attawpiskat, which is also under a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba government says the risk of flood is receding in many areas but there could be flooding to agricultural lands near parts of the Assiniboine River.

And water watchers in Saskatchewan are keeping an eye on rising lake levels, but in some areas the worst of the flood threat has passed.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said Tuesday he is sending a representative to Kapuskasing, Ont., which is hosting more than 200 Kashechewan evacuees.

He said parliamentary secretary Greg Rickford will meet with the displaced residents “to ensure that their immediate health and safety needs are being met.”

Valcourt said he is keeping an eye on at-risk regions in all three provinces.

“Our government will continue to work with other levels of government and our First Nations partners to respond to these emergencies and, eventually, on the recovery effort once the immediate danger is over,” he said in a statement.

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